nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2023‒01‒23
nine papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. The Effect of Split-Ticket Voting Cost on Electoral Enfranchisement By Villegas-Bauer, Germán; Juncosa, Federico
  2. Disparate Racial Impacts of Shelby County v. Holder on Voter Turnout By Billings, Stephen B.; Braun, Noah; Jones, Daniel; Shi, Ying
  3. Dishonesty as a Collective-Risk Social Dilemma By Jiang, Shuguang; Villeval, Marie Claire
  4. Liquid Democracy. Two Experiments on Delegation in Voting By Joseph Campbell; Alessandra Casella; Lucas de Lara; Victoria Mooers; Dilip Ravindran
  5. Corporate Donations and Political Rhetoric: Evidence from a National Ban By Julia Cagé; Caroline Le Pennec; Elisa Mougin
  6. When Does Money Matter for Elections? By Julia Cage; Edgard Dewitte
  7. The Heterogeneous Price of a Vote: Evidence from Multiparty Systems, 1993-2017 By Yasmine Bekkouche; Julia Cage; Edgard Dewitte
  8. Small Campaign Donors By Laurent Bouton; Julia Cagé; Edgard Dewitte; Vincent Pons
  9. Lying to Individuals versus Lying to Groups By Angelova, Vera; Tolksdorf, Michel

  1. By: Villegas-Bauer, Germán; Juncosa, Federico
    Abstract: The features of electoral systems can affect electoral outcomes even for fixed societal preferences. We analyze a quasi-experiment around a staggered change from a paper ballot to an electronic ballot system, which reduces the cost of split-ticket voting. A high cost to split the ticket favors straight-ticket voting, i.e., choosing the same party in all electoral races. If voters care the most about a single-seat race and if they are voting straighttickets, then the single-seat race drives the decision about which party to vote on all races. Therefore, strategic voting considerations on the single-seat race have spillovers to other races, negatively affecting small parties even in races with a proportional representation system. We show how the reduction in the cost to split the ticket increases the number of split-ticket votes and improves the performance of small parties in multiple-seat races. This results in higher political competition.
    Keywords: Ciencia y tecnología, Democracia, Desarrollo institucional, Logística, Tecnologías de la información y comunicación (TIC),
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Billings, Stephen B. (University of Colorado, Boulder); Braun, Noah (University of Pittsburgh); Jones, Daniel (University of Pittsburgh); Shi, Ying (Syracuse University)
    Abstract: In Shelby County v. Holder (2013), the Supreme Court struck down a core provision of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) that enabled federal electoral oversight in select jurisdictions. We study whether this decision disproportionately impacted ballot access for Black and Hispanic registered voters. We use a rich dataset on voter behavior for the universe of registered voters combined with Census block-level sociodemographic attributes to document a decrease in turnout for Black, relative to white, individuals. These effects are concentrated in counties with larger Black and Hispanic populations, consistent with strategic targeting of voter suppression.
    Keywords: Voting Rights Act, political participation
    JEL: D72 J15 K16
    Date: 2022–12
  3. By: Jiang, Shuguang (Shandong University); Villeval, Marie Claire (CNRS, GATE)
    Abstract: We study cheating as a collective-risk social dilemma in a group setting in which individuals are asked to report their actual outcomes. Misreporting their outcomes increases the individual's earnings but when the sum of claims in the group reaches a certain threshold, a risk of collective sanction affects all the group members, regardless of their individual behavior. Because of the pursuit of selfish interest and a lack of coordination with other group members, the vast majority of individuals eventually earn less than the reservation payoff from honest reporting in the group. Over time, most groups are trapped in a "Tragedy of Dishonesty", despite the presence of moral costs of lying. The risk of collective sanction is triggered less frequently in small groups than in large ones, while priming a collectivist mindset has little effect on lying.
    Keywords: dishonesty, public bad, group size, collectivism, individualism, experiment
    JEL: C92 D01 D91 D62 H41
    Date: 2022–12
  4. By: Joseph Campbell; Alessandra Casella; Lucas de Lara; Victoria Mooers; Dilip Ravindran
    Abstract: Liquid Democracy is a voting system touted as the golden medium between representative and direct democracy: decisions are taken by referendum, but voters can delegate their votes as they wish. The outcome can be superior to simple majority voting, but even when experts are correctly identified, delegation must be used sparely. We ran two very different experiments: one follows a tightly controlled lab design; the second is a perceptual task run online where the precision of information is ambiguous. In both experiments, delegation rates are high, and Liquid Democracy underperforms both universal voting and the simpler option of allowing abstention.
    Date: 2022–12
  5. By: Julia Cagé (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR); Caroline Le Pennec (HEC Montréal - HEC Montréal); Elisa Mougin (Sciences Po - Sciences Po, LIEPP - Laboratoire interdisciplinaire d'évaluation des politiques publiques (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po)
    Abstract: Do campaign finance regulations influence politicians? We study the effects of a French ban on corporate donations passed in 1995. We use a difference-indifferences approach and a novel dataset combining the campaign manifestos issued by every candidate running for a seat in the French parliament with detailed data on their campaign contributions. We show that banning corporate donations discourages candidates from advertising their local presence during the campaign, as well as economic issues. The ban also leads candidates from non-mainstream parties to use more polarized language. These findings suggest that private donors shape politicians' topics of interest, and that campaign finance reforms may affect the information made available to voters through their impact on candidates' rhetoric.
    Keywords: Elections, Campaign finance, Corporate donations, Campaign manifestos, Political rhetoric, Text analysis
    Date: 2021–07–27
  6. By: Julia Cage (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, LIEPP - Laboratoire interdisciplinaire d'évaluation des politiques publiques (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po); Edgard Dewitte (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, LIEPP - Laboratoire interdisciplinaire d'évaluation des politiques publiques (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po)
    Abstract: This paper studies electoral campaigns over the long run, through the lens of their spending. In particular, we ask whether changing media technologies and electoral environments have impacted patterns of campaign spending, and their correlation with electoral results. To do so, we build a novel exhaustive dataset on general elections in the United Kingdom from 1857 to 2017, which in­cludes information on campaign spending (itemized by expense categories), electoral outcomes and socio­demographic characteristics for 69, 042 election­-constituency­-candidates. We start by providing new insights on the history of British political campaigns, documenting in particular the growing importance of advertising material (including via digital means), to the detriment of paid staff and electoral meetings. Using a saturated fixed effects model, we then show that there is a strong positive correlation between expenditures and votes, and that overall the magnitude of this relationship has strongly increased since the 1880s, peaking in the last quarter of the 20th century. We link these transformations to changes in the conduct of campaigns, and to the introduction of new information technologies. We show in particular that the expansion of local radio and broadband Internet increased the sensitivity of the electoral results to differences in campaign spending.
    Abstract: Cet article étudie les campagnes électorales sur le long terme, à travers le prisme de leurs dépenses. En particulier, nous investiguons l'impact des évolutions majeures dans les technologies de l'information et les contextes électoraux sur les niveaux, allocations et influences des dépenses des candidats. Pour ce faire, nous construisons un nouvel ensemble de données exhaustif sur les élections générales au Royaume­-Uni de 1857 à 2017, qui comprend des informations sur les dépenses de campagne (détaillées par catégories de dépenses), les résultats électoraux et les caractéristiques socio­démographiques de 69042 candidats­-élections­-circonscriptions. Nous commençons par apporter de nouveaux éclairages sur l'histoire des campagnes politiques britanniques, en documentant notamment l'importance croissante du matériel publicitaire (y compris via des moyens numériques), au détriment du personnel rémunéré et des meetings électoraux. À l'aide d'un modèle à effets fixes, nous montrons ensuite qu'il existe une forte corrélation positive entre les dépenses des candidats et les résultats électoraux de ceux ­ci, et que, dans l'ensemble, la magnitude de cette relation a fortement augmenté depuis les années 1880, pour atteindre un pic dans le dernier quart du XXe siècle. Nous lions ces transformations à des changements dans les stratégies de campagne et à l'introduction de nouvelles technologies de l'information. Nous montrons en particulier que l'expansion de la radio locale et de l'ADSL a augmenté la sensibilité des résultats électoraux aux différences de dépenses de campagne.
    Keywords: Electoral campaigns, Campaign spending, Elections
    Date: 2022–03–10
  7. By: Yasmine Bekkouche (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, ULB - Université libre de Bruxelles); Julia Cage (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Edgard Dewitte (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: What is the impact of campaign spending on votes? Does it vary across election types, political parties or electoral settings? Estimating these effects requires comprehensive data on spending across candidates, parties and elections, as well as identification strategies that handle the endogenous and strategic nature of campaign spending in multiparty systems. This paper provides novel contributions in both of these areas. We build a new comprehensive dataset of all French legislative and UK general elections over the 1993–2017 period. We propose new empirical specifications, including a new instrument that relies on the fact that candidates are differentially affected by regulation on the source of funding on which they depend the most. We find that an increase in spending per voter consistently improves candidates' vote share, both at British and French elections, and that the effect is heterogeneous depending on candidates' party. In particular, we show that spending by radical and extreme parties has much lower returns than spending by mainstream parties, and that this can be partly explained by the social stigma attached to extreme voting. Our findings help reconcile the conflicting results of the existing literature, and improve our understanding of why campaigns matter.
    Keywords: Elections, Campaign financing, Campaign expenditures, Campaign finance reform, Multiparty electoral data, Heterogeneous effects of campaign spending
    Date: 2022–02–01
  8. By: Laurent Bouton (GU - Georgetown University [Washington], CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR, NBER - National Bureau of Economic Research [New York] - NBER - The National Bureau of Economic Research); Julia Cagé (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Edgard Dewitte (Sciences Po - Sciences Po); Vincent Pons (Harvard Business School - Harvard University [Cambridge], CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR, NBER - National Bureau of Economic Research [New York] - NBER - The National Bureau of Economic Research)
    Abstract: We study the characteristics and behavior of small campaign donors and compare them to large donors by building a dataset including all the 340 million individual contributions reported to the U.S. Federal Election Commission between 2005 and 2020. Thanks to the reporting requirements of online fundraising platforms first used by Democrats (ActBlue) and now Republicans (WinRed), we observe contribution-level information on the vast majority of small donations. We first show that the number of small donors (donors who do not give more than $200 to any committee during a two-year electoral cycle) and their total contributions have been growing rapidly. Second, small donors include more women and more ethnic minorities than large donors, but their geographical distribution does not differ much. Third, using a saturated fixed effects model, we find that race closeness, candidate ideological extremeness, whether candidates and donors live in the same district or state, and whether they have the same ethnicity increase contributions, with lower effects for small donors. Finally, we show that campaign TV ads affect the number and size of contributions to congressional candidates, particularly for small donors, indicating that pull factors are relevant to explain their behavior.
    Keywords: Campaign finance, Campaign contributions, Small donations, ActBlue, WinRed, TV advertising
    Date: 2021–12–06
  9. By: Angelova, Vera (TU Berlin); Tolksdorf, Michel (TU Berlin)
    Abstract: We investigate experimentally whether individuals or groups are more lied to, and how lying depends on the group size and the monetary loss inflicted by the lie. We employ an observed cheating game, where an individual's misreport of a privately observed number can monetarily benefit her while causing a loss to either a single individual, a group of two or a group of five. As the privately observed number is known to the experimenter, the game allows to study both, whether the report deviates from the observed number and also by how much. Treatments either vary the individual loss caused by a given lie (keeping the total loss constant), or the total loss (keeping the individual loss constant). We find more lies toward individuals than toward groups. Liars impose a larger loss with their lie when that loss is split among group members rather than borne individually. The size of the group does not affect lying behavior.
    Keywords: cheating; lying; groups; observed cheating game; laboratory experiment;
    JEL: C91 D82 D91
    Date: 2022–12–15

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